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Peacock Doubles-Down on Comedy Reboots: Orders ‘Ted’ Series, Adds Big Names To ‘MacGruber’ Series

Jeff Kotuby

Peacock is doubling down on 2010s comedies to bolster its offerings. on Thursday, reports revealed Peacock’s orders for a series based on Seth McFarlane’s “Ted” movies as well as some major star power for its upcoming “MacGruber” series.

McFarlane is slated to reprise the role of Ted, a stuffed bear who comes to life by the wishes of his best friend John, played by Mark Wahlberg, though Wahlberg and fellow co-star Mila Kunis, who played John’s girlfriend Lori, are not planned to be part of the project. The series is expected to be a prequel to the 2012 movie, which opens the door for another actor to take over the role of John.

“Ted” and “Ted 2” were massive successes in the box office, as “Ted” became the highest-grossing R-rated comedy that was based on an original property (not counting sequels or films based on other works) grossing $549.4 million worldwide. “Ted 2” grossed $216.7 million during its worldwide theatrical run, capping off a strong showing for a movie series about a guy and a talking teddy bear.

Peacock

Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that gives access to up to 15,000 hours of content including original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series.

It will include news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.

Just like other streaming services, Peacock will have their own original series including reboots of Save By The Bell, Punky Brewster, and Battlestar Galactica. They also have shows like Rutherford Falls (Ed Helms), Dr. Death (Alec Baldwin), and a behind-the-scenes docs-series about Saturday Night Live.

The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like the entire Dick Wolf library including Law & Order and Chicago Fire, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

The service will also feature blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.

The burgeoning relationship between McFarlane and Peacock is surprising considering McFarlane’s longtime relationship with Fox, the network that’s been home to McFarlane’s other properties like “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “The Cleveland Show,” “The Orville,” and “Bordertown.”

Ted

June 29, 2012

John Bennett, a man whose childhood wish of bringing his teddy bear to life came true, now must decide between keeping the relationship with the bear or his girlfriend, Lori.

Ted 2

June 25, 2015

Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law.

While shows like “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show” have since found new homes on TBS and Comedy Central, respectively, “Family Guy” still airs first-run episodes on Fox — though it has syndication rights across multiple networks like Cartoon Network, TBS, FX, and even Freeform. Sci-fi fan favorite “The Orville” is still awaiting a premiere date for its upcoming third season on Hulu.

This isn’t the first venture for McFarlane on Peacock, either — his company Fuzzy Door Productions will also help produce “The End is Nye,” a Bill Nye-powered show, for the platform. Would two successes open the door for more ventures between the two companies? Could McFarlane do more and bring his famous animated properties to NBCUnverisal’s linear channels? If he did, it could be a power move for Peacock, a service that’s looking for its next killer show.

Family Guy

January 31, 1999

Sick, twisted, politically incorrect and Freakin’ Sweet animated series featuring the adventures of the dysfunctional Griffin family. Bumbling Peter and long-suffering Lois have three kids. Stewie (a brilliant but sadistic baby bent on killing his mother and taking over the world), Meg (the oldest, and is the most unpopular girl in town) and Chris (the middle kid, he’s not very bright but has a passion for movies). The final member of the family is Brian - a talking dog and much more than a pet, he keeps Stewie in check whilst sipping Martinis and sorting through his own life issues.

American Dad!

February 6, 2005

The series focuses on an eccentric motley crew that is the Smith family and their three housemates: Father, husband, and breadwinner Stan Smith; his better half housewife, Francine Smith; their college-aged daughter, Hayley Smith; and their high-school-aged son, Steve Smith. Outside of the Smith family, there are three additional main characters, including Hayley’s boyfriend turned husband, Jeff Fischer; the family’s man-in-a-goldfish-body pet, Klaus; and most notably the family’s zany alien, Roger, who is “full of masquerades, brazenness, and shocking antics.”

The Cleveland Show

September 27, 2009

The bizarre adventures of Cleveland Brown and co.

The Orville

September 10, 2017

Follows the crew of the not-so-functional exploratory ship in the Earth’s interstellar fleet, 400 years in the future.

For “MacGruber,” this new series is more like a tripling down from NBCUniversal, as the property once started off as a “Saturday Night Live” skit that parodied action-adventure television, which was then made into a movie, and now a streaming series.

Will Forte stars as MacGruber, a special operations agent who seems to struggle with dismantling bombs. He’s often flanked by his assistant and ex-wife Vicki St. Elmo, played by Kristen Wiig. The series will also see the return of Ryan Phillippe, who played Lieutenant Dixon Piper in the movie. In the series, MacGruber is finally released from prison after a decade and is immediately tasked with a mission to once again defeat a demon from his past.

The new cast members will all have pivotal roles in the series. Sam Elliott plays MacGruber’s father, Perry, who serves as his son’s sage of wisdom. While they’ve drifted apart over the years, it seems that MacGruber will need his father’s help throughout this series. Laurence Fishburne stars as General Barrett Fasoose, a highly decorated soldier who happens to be married to Vicki. Mickey Rourke plays the role of Enos Queeth, the aforementioned demon from MacGruber’s past who wants to destroy the world.

Both series are in development and do not have a release date as of yet.

MacGruber

May 21, 2010

Ex-special operative MacGruber is called back into action to take down his archenemy, Dieter Von Cunth, who’s in possession of a nuclear warhead and bent on destroying Washington, DC.

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